House of Commons Hansard #70 of the 36th Parliament, 2nd Session. (The original version is on Parliament's site.) The word of the day was c-16.

Topics

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:40 p.m.

Liberal

Rose-Marie Ur Lambton—Kent—Middlesex, ON

Mr. Speaker, we know that the Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food has been engaged in two days of intense negotiations with his provincial counterparts, working to reach a final agreement on a long term safety net program for all Canadian farmers.

Can the parliamentary secretary inform the House of any progress being made toward the objective of a national, effective and equitable safety net system that all farmers so desperately need?

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Egmont
P.E.I.

Liberal

Joe McGuire Parliamentary Secretary to Minister of Agriculture and Agri-Food

Mr. Speaker, today is a great day for federal-provincial co-operation. It is also a great day for the agricultural producers of Canada.

After two years of negotiation, our agriculture minister plus his 10 colleagues from across Canada have agreed to a three year farm safety net agreement. The main components of this agreement are $665 million per year over the next three years for basic farm safety net funding plus $435 million per year over—

Agriculture
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Wanuskewin.

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Reform

Maurice Vellacott Wanuskewin, SK

Mr. Speaker, the Minister of Human Resources Development talks about openness and transparency yet she continues to stonewall on releasing information.

The Reform Party currently has 30 important access to information requests on which her department is up to a month late. In other words they are 30 days beyond the point of providing that material to us.

Why is the minister not respecting the access to information requests?

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, I totally reject the allegations that the hon. member is making. After all, we have just released 10,000 pages of information to the House for the use of each and every one of the members of parliament. We are working hard to be transparent and open and we will continue to be. I would note that since the beginning of the year, we have received well over 300 access to information requests. We will deliver to the best of our ability. But I absolutely reject the allegation that we are not open and transparent.

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Reform

Maurice Vellacott Wanuskewin, SK

Mr. Speaker, these requests are not very complicated. They are simple audits and these audits need only to be put on the face of a copier, no white-out needed.

Has the minister not learned from her mistakes? Many of these requests are for audits like financial integrity and assessing the operational environment of HRDC. Treasury Board has ordered that all departments release internal audits without requiring an access request.

Why is the minister breaking Treasury Board guidelines in addition to breaking the law?

Human Resources Development
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

The Speaker

The hon. member for Bras d'Or—Cape Breton.

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Michelle Dockrill Bras D'Or, NS

Mr. Speaker, Canadian women have been suffering both economically and socially from the policies of the government since 1993.

The government's own EI report tabled yesterday by the Minister of Human Resources Development once again showed yet another discriminating policy of the government. Only 30% of unemployed Canadian women now qualify for EI.

My question for the minister is quite simple. Will the minister stand up for Canadian women and stop these discriminating policies and correct the devastating gender imbalance which her government has created?

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, like all members on this side of the House, we always stand up for Canadian women.

I am glad to report that as a result of the changes to the employment insurance program, women are benefiting. They have benefited from the change to an hours based system. They have benefited from the small weeks program. They have benefited from the family supplement. Most of all, they have benefited from the fact that our economy is working. We see the unemployment levels for adult women in this country at the lowest they have been in a decade, at 5.8%.

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

NDP

Yvon Godin Acadie—Bathurst, NB

Mr. Speaker, it would be a good thing if the minister read her own report.

The employment insurance report, according to the Minister of Human Resources Development, says that people are adapting to the 1996 Liberal reform. Last weekend, the Prime Minister and the Liberal caucus for the Atlantic provinces called for changes to employment insurance because that is why they lost members in the Atlantic region.

Does the Minister of Human Resources Development agree that there is a contradiction between herself and the Prime Minister of Canada as well as the Atlantic Liberal caucus? It would seem to be high time for changes to EI to be made once and for all.

Employment Insurance
Oral Question Period

2:45 p.m.

Brant
Ontario

Liberal

Jane Stewart Minister of Human Resources Development

Mr. Speaker, there is absolutely no contradiction.

Fisheries
Oral Question Period

March 23rd, 2000 / 2:45 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Gerald Keddy South Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, DFO is buying back licences which will then be given to aboriginal fishers. Traditionally fishers have entered the industry by purchasing their own licences and boats. Low interest loans could be made available to first nations.

Will the minister commit today to selling licences and boats to aboriginal fishers to make sure everyone enters the industry on an equal footing?

Fisheries
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Vancouver South—Burnaby
B.C.

Liberal

Herb Dhaliwal Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, what we have done is we have followed the consultations.

The hon. member and the fishing community have said that one of the ways to bring new entrants into the fishery is through a voluntary buyback of licences. Of course some of those include a whole enterprise, not just the licences themselves. That is exactly what we are doing. Through a voluntary retirement program we are buying up licences to make sure that we follow the law and follow the supreme court ruling which recognized the treaty that the Mi'kmaq signed more than 240 years ago.

Fisheries
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Progressive Conservative

Gerald Keddy South Shore, NS

Mr. Speaker, buying back fishing licences from non-natives has nothing to do with the treaty that we signed 200 years ago.

The minister also knows that the fishing season will be opening in only a few weeks. He also knows on top of that that there must be organization and regulation in the fishery that will not be sprung upon fishers at the last minute.

Can the minister tell us what existing regulations the federal negotiator has given up in order to get agreements in place for the new season?

Fisheries
Oral Question Period

2:50 p.m.

Vancouver South—Burnaby
B.C.

Liberal

Herb Dhaliwal Minister of Fisheries and Oceans

Mr. Speaker, I am happy to announce to the House that we already have two signed agreements with the first nations bands. Discussions are going on at this moment. I hope that in the near future I will be able to announce more.

We said from day one that resolving this problem would be through dialogue and through sitting around the table and negotiating, unlike the Tories who said to use the notwithstanding clause to take away the treaty rights won by the supreme court. We rejected that position.